Not even a very good one. Tonight Adam and I had our usual weekend date night in. This time the movie was Parental Guidance. Really not that good, but cute.
As mindless as it was it really got me thinking. I have obviously been shaken to my core by the toddler years. Attachment parenting was amazingly beautiful when Molly was a baby. For Natalie too, but now she needs more. This wild beast that I love so much needs more.
I was spanked. My grandparents raised their voices but not all the time. To me being yelled at was worse. Sometimes I catch myself in moments and think really Elise? You can't do better? I can. Just not with these tools I think I should be working with. I need some new tools, dang it!
The movie talked a lot about a sort of new age of parenting. Never saying don't or no. The grandparents felt kids needed it, and of course in the end with their tough love the kids were better behaved and all was well. So is this true? Do I forget the idea that I need to be the always calm soft spoken mom or do I learn better techniques to show my unruly toddler boundaries while fostering her independence?
I say the latter. See when Natalie was born it wasn't just bringing a baby home. It was a huge moment in all of our lives for so many reasons. Molly was near two. Natalie was a newborn and we were all adapting to the change. Some things were bound to change. Lessons were learned and I had to learn how to let things roll of my back. Like breastfeeding. That's being a mom. Adapting to the curve balls that you're perfectly unique children bring you. Like going from an angel to a toddler. (ok maybe angel is a bit of an exaggeration)
Most people have so many doubts with their first. Especially in the baby year. I was so opposite. When Molly was a baby I knew I was a good mom. I stood behind every choice and was proud. Now that's she's older the way I thought I would be or need to be just doesn't click for her free spirit. I struggle with feeling like I am a good mother to Natalie, because I don't nurse her. I struggle to feel like I'm a good mom to her when she needs to cry a little longer than Molly ever did. I struggle when I know she's in her swing while I'm with Molly when Molly never even had a swing. I struggle because my free spirited daughter needs more than a hushed voice, but I don't want to use a loud one.
So I've decided to dive deeper into the world of parenting techniques, because I don't want to doubt myself. I know I'm a good mom. If I wasn't I wouldn't even care to learn and grow for the sake of my children. I would be forcing them to grow and bend to me.
As she gets older I will always rely on my AP roots and answer her cries. I will always listen to what she is saying. As I type this she is still snuggled into our bed. Here are some books to help guide me to better nourish her drive for independence while keeping her boundaries firm.
I'm starting with 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas
W. Phelan PhD . It came as a recommendation from a wonderful mother I know.
Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child by Robert
J. Mackenzie will probably be next if need be.
This will definitely be read whether or not 1-2-3 Magic does the trick. This is The Playful Family by Shawn Ledington Fink. From the description it is about being a more meaningful parent and spend time as a family authentically. Which is something I think we need. You always hear about those awesome families that just sit around and play music and don't even own a TV.
I hope to get book one read soon, but a realistic time frame at this point in my life will be next year. Wish us luck!